Reform of Vocational Education - Frequently Asked Questions
On 1 August 2019, the Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a major proposal to reform Vocational Education and Training (also referred to as VET) in New Zealand. This is known as the Review of Vocational Education (RoVE).
The Government aims to create a strong, unified vocational education system that is sustainable and fit for the future of work, delivering what learners, employers and communities need to be successful.
On 1 April 2020, the reform brought together all 16 of New Zealand’s Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) as subsidiaries under the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST)*, which will continue to be state-owned and funded. It also aims in time to combine the functions of ITPs and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) so that on and off job training can be offered seamlessly.
Watch the announcement video
Documents explaining the decisions:
Does Wintec support this change?
Yes we do. It’s a vote for vocational education and collaboration across the sector to ensure students get the best possible experience and opportunities. We are looking at how we can make it work well in our region, for our students, staff, employers and our community.
When does this change take place?
From 1 April 2020, the government has brought New Zealand’s 16 polytechnics and the industry training organisations under a single entity, currently referred to as the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST). Wintec is now a subsidiary of NZIST.
Will there be a name change?
Wintec - Waikato Institute of Technology is now a limited liability company under NZIST. So the only change for now is we have updated our formal name to Waikato Institute of Technology Ltd.
The name, New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology is a temporary working title. Wintec is aligned with the new institute and there will be a name change and/or a rebrand over time.
What does this mean for our students?
It’s business as usual at Wintec. Nothing changes, qualifications, teaching support and learning will all be the same and you can continue to study uninterrupted. If you are currently studying with Wintec or intending to study with us, you will still graduate with that qualification from Wintec. In the future, there will be a whole lot of improvements for students’ learning experience to encourage consistency and quality across the New Zealand polytechnic sector.
If I enrol now, will my course continue to be delivered over the next 1, 2 or 3 years?
Yes. Don’t hesitate to enrol. There is no change to enrolments. We will continue to deliver our courses and qualifications. The new system will have no impact on students. This applies to domestic and international students.
Will my qualifications still be valid?
Yes. All qualifications are assured by the New Zealand Government and sit on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). There is no change to this status whatever happens with the reforms.
If you are enrolled with Wintec or you are planning to enrol this year, then your qualification will still be a Wintec qualification.
Will students be required to move campus?
No. Regardless of any change, students’ enrolments will be honoured.
What does this mean for international students?
There is no change for international students in 2020 and for the foreseeable future. All qualifications will continue to be honoured and there is no change to enrolments, location of study or the continuation of courses and qualifications.
What does this mean for international agents?
There is no change for agents for the foreseeable future. All contracts and conditions remain valid for the current terms.
Will Wintec still be part of our region?
Regional education is important, it’s where the students are, where jobs are and where employers are. The changes implemented by the Education Minister have a strong regional focus. Regional groups including iwi, employers and industry will help drive this.
Does this mean ITOs and ITPs will be merged? What does that mean in our region?
The reforms propose to create more collaboration. The change will see a vocational education system where industry and education providers have strong, distinct and complementary roles. It also aims in time to combine the functions
of Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) so that students and apprentices can easily move between on-the-job and off-the-job learning and online study.
What does this mean for Māori and Pasifika students?
The proposed new system recognises that not all learners across the vocational education system are getting the employment and educational outcomes they deserve. This includes Māori and Pasifika learners.
What does this mean for employers?
Improving the skills of our students will support a growing economy that works for everyone. This reform supports greater collaboration between employers and education providers. For now ITOs will continue to support trainees and apprentices, and during 2022 support for training will come from a different organisation. Workplace Development Councils will ensure the system will provide more work-ready graduates by working directly with employers and your staff will have access to training on-the-job, off-the-job and online.
What does this mean for secondary schools and wharekuras?
There is no immediate change for schools and there won’t be big changes for learners and trainees. Schools should continue to support learners to study and enrol in vocational learning options with local polytechnics, industry organisations and employers. Programmes such as Trades Academies, STAR and Gateway programme continue. The Government will be reviewing how it funds secondary-tertiary learning arrangements to address inequities and disincentives in the current system.
How can I find out more?
For an in-depth overview of information about RoVE and answers to common questions please visit:
If you want to receive news and be provided with RoVE updates, please click the link below that best describes you:
I work for an institute of technology or a polytechnic - Sign up for a newsletter here
I work for an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) - Sign up for a newsletter here
I am a student, apprentice, trainee or am thinking about doing workplace training or heading to a polytechnic - Sign up for a newsletter here
I am an employer and I hire apprentices – Sign up for a newsletter here